Ambassadors and patrons
We have the pleasure to be able to call on some amazing celebrities to act as our ambassadors and patrons to promote our work.
Lord Foster (President)
Our President Lord Foster, creator of projects such as Stansted Airport, London's Millennium Bridge and 30 St Mary Axe (known as the Gherkin), wants to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
Lord Foster said: "I'm delighted to be Bowel Cancer UK's President. I want to help raise awareness that early diagnosis of the disease leads to a high chance of survival. Regular exercise and eating healthily is a crucial factor in reducing your risk of developing bowel cancer."
Oscar nominated Actor Tom Hardy became our patron in 2012 after attending our 25th Anniversary celebration at number 10 Downing Street. Best known for roles in Legend, Inception and The Revenant, Tom was honoured to become a patron to help the charity raise awareness.
Tom said: "I am delighted to become a patron of Bowel Cancer UK. I'd like to help the charity to increase awareness and help stop people dying needlessly from the disease. I hope you'll join me."
Actress Charlotte became our patron along with her partner Tom Hardy in 2012 after attending our 25th Anniversary celebration. She chose to support us to make sure that both women and men are aware of the symptoms bowel cancer.
Charlotte said: "I am thrilled to become a patron of Bowel Cancer UK. I'm joining the charity to make sure that both women and men are aware of the symptoms of the disease and know what to do about them. Early diagnosis is so crucial to saving lives."
Professor, Lord Darzi of Denham, KBE
Lord Darzi has been charity patron since 2005. He holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research. Lord Darzi is Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and Chair of Imperial College Health Partners. He is an Honorary Consultant Surgeon at Imperial College Hospital NHS Trust.
Research led by Professor Darzi is directed towards achieving best surgical practice through innovation in surgery and enhancing patient safety and the quality of healthcare.
The Countryfile and Wainwright Walks presenter Julia became our patron following her mother’s diagnosis of the disease. She is keen to promote the benefits of exercise as part of reducing the risk of getting bowel cancer.
Julia said: "I'm delighted to become a patron for Bowel Cancer UK. So many people are continuing to die needlessly from this disease. This doesn't have to happen. If people are diagnosed early, the survival rates are high. Regular exercise and a good diet also helps to reduce the risks of bowel cancer. I urge anyone who is concerned about the disease affecting them or their loved ones to make an appointment to visit their GP today. Our family have had personal experience of dealing with all the issues and emotions surrounding bowel cancer as our mother was diagnosed earlier but now on the road to recovery."
Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE
Baroness Floella Benjamin became a patron of the charity in January 2013. She is best known as the iconic presenter of the BBC’s Playschool, although she is also an actress, author, singer, businesswoman and politician. In 2010, Floella was introduced to the House of Lords as a Life Peer nominated by the Liberal Democrats.
She says: “It’s over nine years since my beloved mother ‘Marmie’ passed away. I miss her so, but feel her presence in everything I do. A beautiful woman whose legacy lives on and will do forever. Sadly, she died from bowel cancer, which is why I have become an active patron of Bowel Cancer UK.”
British actor Rupert Evans (The Man In The High Castle, American Pastoral) is our newest patron. Rupert, whose family has been directly affected by bowel cancer, says: “Being a patron of Bowel Cancer UK means the world to me. It’s a charity very close to my heart and I know first-hand how devastating this disease can be on the individual and the whole family. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but it doesn’t have to be this way - it’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.”
ITN presenter Charlene is deeply dedicated to raising awareness of bowel cancer after losing her mother to the disease when she was just 21.
Charlene said: "Becoming a patron for the charity means a lot to me. I lost my mother to bowel cancer when I was 21, after quite a few years of illness - so I am passionate about the issues and the charity. So many people are still so unaware of the illness despite someone dying every 30 minutes of bowel cancer.
"That's why more people need to learn to spot the signs early - as it's highly treatable. I know we're constantly told that we should be eating healthily - but simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can save your life. And it's important that we all understand that...before it's too late".
Matt Dawson MBE
Part of the England rugby squad that took the country to victory in the 2003 World Cup, Matt Dawson is an institution in the world of rugby. He is a team captain on BBC’s A Question of Sport and took part in the BBC’s Celebrity Masterchef and Strictly Come Dancing.
Matt says: “My grandfather died from bowel cancer more than twenty years ago, and my mum was diagnosed with the disease but luckily she’s made a full recovery. Knowing the symptoms and visiting your GP if things don’t feel right can help increase chances of an early diagnosis, which could save your life.”
Dr Chris Steele MBE, MB, ChB
Dr Chris Steele qualified as a doctor in 1968 and has worked as a GP in South Manchester ever since.
He is best known as the resident medical expert on ITV’s This Morning since the programme began in 1988, taking live phone-ins on a wide range of medical topics.
Lord Nigel Crisp, KCB
Lord Crisp has been a patron since 2011. A former chief executive of the NHS and permanent secretary of the Department of Health, Lord Crisp led major reforms in the English health system. Since his retirement in 2006, his significant contribution to British and international healthcare has continued through his work as an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords.
An eminent figure in the healthcare sector and held in high esteem by healthcare professionals and politicians alike, Lord Crisp’s patronage will be a tremendous asset to the charity.
The Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis
Ephraim Mirvis is Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. He is only the 11th Chief Rabbi to take up this position since the office was introduced in 1704. He chose to support us to help raise awareness.
Chief Rabbi Mirvis said, "Bowel cancer can be a devastating diagnosis, affecting not just the individual concerned but the whole family. That's why I very much welcome this invitation from Bowel Cancer UK to become a patron of the charity, anything I can do to help prevent families from living through this kind of experience can only be a positive thing."
Pamela is known to many people in Northern Ireland through her role as a UTV presenter, in a career spanning 31 years. She is currently a freelance presenter, reporter and on radio station U105. Pamela's move to support our work has been motivated by a devastating personal loss.
Pamela said:"I lost my friend a few years ago to bowel cancer. That's why I understand how important it is to raise awareness of this disease. I really want to do anything I can to make more people aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and I'd like to urge anyone who is concerned to visit their GP."
Kevin became an ambassador for Bowel Cancer UK since 2014, after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. Both his parents have been affected by the disease. Following treatment, Kevin was given the all-clear and is now helping to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
He says: “I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, but it was caught early. The most important thing is to see your GP if you notice any symptoms. Doing that saved my life.”
Matthew is a journalist and has worked for The Sun and The Daily Mirror, but he’s best known for presenting Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff.
Matthew’s father died from bowel cancer at 53 years old in 1997, and his grandfather was also diagnosed with the disease but made a full recovery. He is now passionate about raising awareness of bowel cancer and supports our fundraising and campaigning work.
Freya, described as one of the UK’s most beloved and interesting contemporary women’s fiction authors, lost a good friend to the disease in 2013. In memory of her friend Hannah Berry, who passed away aged 30, Freya is keen to help raise awareness of the disease.
Good Morning Britain TV presenter Sean Fletcher became an Ambassador in September 2015. Sean’s mother died of bowel cancer when she was just 54 years old. Sean ran the London Marathon in her memory in April 2015 and appeared alongside his wife in ITV’s All Star Mr and Mrs raising an impressive £30,000.